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Living with Reflux ???

(18 Posts)
JillMLD Wed 30-Mar-05 21:18:36

Hi
My 4 month baby girl has finally been diagnosed with reflux after much vaguness from health professionals.

We've had her on gaviscon for a couple of months which has helped a bit, but she still wasn't gaining weight too well so we went to see a paediatrician today who has prescribed Ranitidine and Motilium.

I just wondered if anyone has any experience of these ? I have found some info on Ranitidine which I understand is what is in Zantac, but not much on Motilium.

Also, we are lucky in that she sleeps well, her cot is raised at the head end by some books under the legs and she doesn't chuck up in bed thankfully. So I'm not worried about that. However I am worried about her physical development. I daren't put her on her tummy in case she spews and lies in it (I also have a 22 month old to chase around after so I don't have the luxury (?!) of spending every waking minute watching the baby. I daren't lay her on her back as that makes the milk comes up, though I try to just put up with that if she is not too distressed by it. Most of the time the poor mite is slumped in her baby chair.

Did anyone with a reflux baby have similar concerns and if so what did you to daya to day practically speaking. I suppose I could lay her playmat at an angle but not sre how to that or how to prevent her just rolling off it (or getting pulled off by her borother).

I'm really fed up and hacked off of dealing with all this. The washing machine has never seen so much action, feeding is time consuming, stressful, demoralising and upsetting, I dread every feed now.

Thanks for any advice,
Jill

hermykne Wed 30-Mar-05 21:39:01

jill
just pushing this to the top for you, no experience but i hope the mumnetters come to advise

charellie Wed 30-Mar-05 22:05:10

My dd had reflux however it didn't seem as severe as your dd. We were prescribed some special formula. Sorry but can't remember the name of it. I know it probably isn't ideal but I used to put her in her boucy chair especially after a feed as no matter how much I winded she always seemed to be sick but being upright in the bouncy chair helped.

It is very difficult when they are being sick all the time and I used to always panic that she might choke which of course she never did.

She also had cranial massage for a year and it seemed to help as well.

hope this is useful

charellie Wed 30-Mar-05 22:05:10

My dd had reflux however it didn't seem as severe as your dd. We were prescribed some special formula. Sorry but can't remember the name of it. I know it probably isn't ideal but I used to put her in her boucy chair especially after a feed as no matter how much I winded she always seemed to be sick but being upright in the bouncy chair helped.

It is very difficult when they are being sick all the time and I used to always panic that she might choke which of course she never did.

She also had cranial massage for a year and it seemed to help as well.

hope this is useful

charellie Wed 30-Mar-05 22:15:06

Just to add that I used to put 2 bibs on my dd at a time and I'm afraid because she is a twin and I was exhausted if she had only been a little bit sick then I didn't always change her clothes. I would have got through her whole wardrobe in a day if I had done.

The reflux gradually got better as she was being weaned. I stopped using the prescribed milk when she was around 7 months old. She is now 2 1/2 years and loves cows milk which she has for breakfast and before she goes to bed.

JillMLD Wed 30-Mar-05 23:26:45

thanks charelle glad to know I am not alone in leaving her a bit damp and soggy!!
She is sick so muach that sometimes I can change her vests 3 times in a row, I don;t even get to put the top on over it before another load comes up. It gets to the stage where its either stay damp and keep some milk down, or be dry but have an empty tummy. She also has this annoying habit of always looking to the left, so she always pukes over her left shoulder so bibs don't catch it because it soaks into the car seat or bouncy chair and then travels down it and into her clothes halfway down her back. DEAD annoying.

Interesting what you said about cranial massage. Is that like cranial osteopathy ? I read about it in relation to reflux on some other sites and thought I might consider it ifthese meds don't improve things. Though I don;t understand at all how that can help. But hey I'll try anything.

Thanks again,
Jill

SamN Wed 30-Mar-05 23:46:55

Jill, I completely understand what you are going through. Ds2 (8mo) has silent reflux (so at least our washing machine doesn't get as much use as yours), ds1 has just turned 3 so like you I don't have the luxury of giving my refluxer 24h attention, gps fobbed us off for ages with Gaviscon which imho made no difference except making him constipated, and we were finally referred to a specialist about 6 weeks ago. He is also on ranitidine and Motilium.

Ranitidine is an acid suppressant, so it doesn't stop the vomiting but it does mean the fluid is not so acidic and so doesn't hurt the oesophagus so much.

Motilium is the brand name for the drug domperidone. You'll find more info if you search for the generic name. It helps move stuff along the digestive system (can't remember the proper term for this) - so it works by tightening the valve at the top of the stomach and also making the stomach contents move along into the intestines more quickly. So there's less in the stomach to come up, and hopefully the valve stops it coming up so much as well.

We're still in the early stages of using the drugs. From what I've heard from other parents of refluxing babies, they take a little while to work, then they may stop working after a while because they are very dependant on weight so if your child puts on weight they need the dose increasing appropriately. Also, sometimes the child's body just gets used to one drug and you have to start using a different one to get the same effect.

In practical terms I've found these sites very useful:

Reflux Babies msn group

Gastric Reflux Support Network New Zealand

the PAGER site (sorry, don't have time to put in the link)

and if you're breastfeeding go to kellymom.com and/or call La Leche League about their leaflet.

sorry, can hear ds2 crying but will try to post a bit more tomorrow

SamN Thu 31-Mar-05 00:48:17

Jill, just wanted to answer your specific queries about the chair/floor and add some other stuff I've learned in the past 6 months or so.

Ds2 spent loads of time in his car seat or in the chair. If they slump it isn't so good because their stomachs get squashed. We borrowed a Jane seat from a neighbour, where you can adjust the angle, and this just got moved from room to room. For a few months this was the only place Ds2 would sleep.

But I found that at certain times of day it was okay to put him on the floor. Not immediately after a feed, obviously, and it does take a bit of trial and error, but if it was long enough after a feed he could lie happily for a little while on the floor and so I didn't feel I was stunting his development so much.

A couple more things that helped:
Massage. It helps to move things along the digestive tract. I built it into our evening routine, with him lying on our bed, propped up with a pillow under his head and with lots of towels around . If dp was around, he looked after ds1 during massage time, if I was on my own, ds1 came in to 'help' with the massage (we sing songs together while I do the massage and I try to stop ds1 from bouncing on the bed too much );

A baby carrier. One that holds them upright but doesn't squash their stomach too much. We have a Baby Bjorn but I'm looking for a better one because it hurts my back if I use it too much. But Ds2 does like being in it. It helps the milk to drain from his stomach. It allows me to do some stuff around the house or with ds1 and ds2 doesn't feel like I'm ignoring him. It's also good for short trips to the shops/library/playground etc. - the buggy hasn't been used much as he sits in a funny position and seems pretty uncomfortable.

Ds2's reflux did seem to get better once he could sit unaided. I can't remember at what age this was though!

A word of warning about solids:
Many doctors/HVs/other mums will recommend starting solids early (i.e. before 6 months) with a refluxing baby. They certainly did with me. But research has been done that shows while solids may appear to make reflux better (there's less vomiting) they can actually irritate the oesophagus more and there's also risk of aspiration (solids going into the air passages). Plus some cases of reflux are due to food intolerances and so starting solids before 6m might make these worse. Unfortunately the medics don't seem very up-to-date on this research.

That reminds me. You don't say if your dd is on formula, breastmilk or a mixture. Changing formula might help. Or if she's breastfed, trying to identify if there's something in your diet that she's sensitive to. There's probably some info about food sensitivities on the sites I referenced before.

Cranial osteopathy didn't work in our case, although some people say it really helps.

I guess every baby is different, so you can take whatever's helpful from my masses of information here! I wish the cranial osteopathy had worked, though. I completely agree with everything you say about how stressful and demoralising feeding can be. My emotions go up and down like a yo-yo depending on how well a feed has gone. And it may sound cliched, but I really think that people can't understand how difficult it is unless they have looked after a refluxing baby themselves. I saw my midwife again about 3 months ago and she told me that he would grow out of it. Well, that's not very helpful I'm afraid . Luckily the same day I met another mum with a 4 yo who had had reflux as a baby - so not only did this mum really sympathise, I could hear the details of how her dd had been treated and finally came off the medications with no more reflux. Which is a lot more helpful than just being told that they grow out of it eventually.

Best of luck with your refluxer.

KathH Thu 31-Mar-05 06:52:14

Hi Jill - ds2 (6mths) has reflux and is another constant sicker - he's on domperidone and ranitidine but is still sick quite a lot. He's also on solids but while i suppose he's sick less its just more disgusting! I try and keep him in his carseat for an hr after feeding which wasnt too bad at first but now he's getting bigger he isnt so keen- i have a special supply of blankets for him to play on known in our house as "pukey blankets" as he can be sick 3 hrs after eating. My washing machine actually packed up last week which is not very helpful, luckily was under warranty so got another. I keep telling myself he will grow out of it - ds1 had reflux but grew out of it when he was about 9/10 mths.

LIZS Thu 31-Mar-05 07:43:13

dd had reflux, although not as badly as your dd's sounds, and spent much of her first 6 months in her Chicco bouncy chair, under her play gym, or car seat. She also slept raised up in her cot on Ikea bathroom steps stools.

tbh it didn't impede her development overall , she crawled at 8 months, cruised, stood at 9 months and walked by a year. The main thing she did a little later than her brother was roll over but he was quite early anyway (about 10 weeks) and she'd had less opportunity to spend time on the floor (also I think part of life being a second child with a toddler running around). If you want her to spend time on the floor (and tbh I don't really place much value on tummy time for its own sake, fine once they roll themselves there and want to do so), how about using a v-pillow under her play mat so that she is still a little elevated.

I do sympathise, it can be such a hinderance to getting out and about and knocks the confidence a bit, but it should get better with time. Solids sometimes help. Once she can support herself sitting it helps but the rolling - crawling phase was also difficult. dd improved once she got on her feet and by about 15 months it had all but gone and she was eating pretty normal family foods.

Hope this helps

charellie Thu 31-Mar-05 08:56:59

If she is being sick down her left shoulder maybe you could try folding a large muslin and wrapping it over her shoulder. Not sure if this will work.

Also I used to put a bib with waterproof backing on first and then a thick towelling bib. I found that this way I sometimes only had to keep changing the top one. You can also buy bibs that cover the arms as well. I got mime from Mothercare but Toys R Us also sell them

foxinsocks Thu 31-Mar-05 09:28:43

ooh Jill, I so sympathise! Both mine had reflux and I too found it completely demoralising. Mine are now 3 and 4 and have both outgrown it although they have a tendency to have vomiting tummies e.g. if they get a bad snotty cold, they often vomit up food when they cough.

It does get better - with my first it was very much when she started walking (and her tummy muscles toughened up) but with my second it was definitely earlier, probably around 8 months but I can't exactly remember.

We went for the plastic backed bibs with flannel on the front - they probably do better ones now. They may feel slightly stiff but it stops everything getting soaked at once. When we put them on their stomachs, it was always on a sort of plastic backed picnic mat and then 2 or 3 muslins on top. We always had to watch in case they vomited and put their face in it so I only did it for a short time each day.

To be honest, I found going out the most demoralising. Taking all those change of clothes for the kids and then walking around with puke all over me. My winter coat still has a bare patch on the shoulder where I had to rub all the puke off!

It didn't affect either of their developments at all. Don't worry about the baby chair - I seem to remember both of mine (when they weren't being perpetually carried around because they were screaming) spent most of their baby time in those and I'm sure there are plenty of babies without reflux whose babies are in them all the time aswell.

JillMLD Sun 24-Apr-05 20:04:54

Hi all and thanks for all the messages and info. We've been on the meds for 3 and a half weeks now and I think things have improved a bit. She's put on a bit of weight for a start which is great and she's doing very well on solids. As KathH said she is a bit less sick but the sick is more disgusting!! I've got a bit more used to it and have 2 thick bibs and a muslin on her all the time. Outfits never match. I have found the best way to guarantee she doesnt chuck on her first outfit of the day is to make sure its a hideous top that clashes horribly with her trousers LOL We also now feed her in the bouncy chair not on our laps and that has helped as she can't thrash around as much. Also we're reintroduced the 11pm feed which amazingly she will take on my lap very calmly a full bottle then straight to sleep with no chucking.

The only problem now (isn't there always one) is that she loves solids so much she has cut back on the milk, now taking only about 15oz in the day and another 7 at night. I was thinking this was ok until last night she woke at 4am and wouldn't settle without a bottle. She's had less today than she had yesterday so I think I am in for another middle of the night feed. I am about to embark on calcium/milk by stealth and sneak it in elsewhere.

Anyhow thats our update, thanks for all the support, it helped immensely to read that her development won't be impacted and that one day she will be able to come off the meds and be ok. She is almost 5 months, I am looking to 9 months to aim for initially, if we can survive it til then we will be fine and we are more than halfway there.

Love Jill

popsycal Sun 24-Apr-05 20:25:04

i am beginning to thik ds2 who is 7 weeks may have reflux. I hae syspected this fir about 3 weeks now. Increasingky sicky after feeds - often brings milk straught back up durrng or immediateky after feeds. If I lie hun fkat straught after (even though he has been burped) he will be sick. Seems worse at night. He is much more comfortable in his car seat. He can be sick up to an hour adter a feed though. He is also a little and often feeder 0 seems very uncomfortable with big feeds............

popsycal Sun 24-Apr-05 20:25:06

i am beginning to thik ds2 who is 7 weeks may have reflux. I hae syspected this fir about 3 weeks now. Increasingky sicky after feeds - often brings milk straught back up durrng or immediateky after feeds. If I lie hun fkat straught after (even though he has been burped) he will be sick. Seems worse at night. He is much more comfortable in his car seat. He can be sick up to an hour adter a feed though. He is also a little and often feeder 0 seems very uncomfortable with big feeds............

3mummy Sun 24-Apr-05 20:38:29

Hi, my DD2 had reflux and the formula recommended to me was Omneo comfort. It's thicker and supposed to stay down better.

Hope this helps .

fruitful Sun 24-Apr-05 20:44:04

Is there a difference between "reflux" and "really sicky"? Ds (10 wks) throws up probably about a 1/4 of each feed. Sometimes a huge vomit,and sometimes just keeps spitting it out over the three hours after the feed. He's putting on weight ok (because he has twice as much formula as recommended, I think). And it doesn't seem to hurt him at all, he isn't distressed. Just soggy. Do I need to do anything about this (other than insure my washing machine)? Don't want to take him to the docs and get labelled a paranoid mum.

tiny01 Mon 25-Apr-05 21:31:46

fruitful, who cares if you are being labled a paranoid mum, at least your not paranoid for yourself and better that than worrying about your ds. jillmld I read this thread because I am worried about my dd as she gets symptoms like colic when lying flat and also pukes when I lie her down after a feed, so have got into the habit of holding her for half an hour after a feed, which is ok but the thing I worry about is that when she feed she seems to be choking and has trouble to catch a breath, I have to take out the bottle or sit her up (mixing bottle and breast) and I can see she gets distressed. I had to take her to A&E last week after a 39degree temp as she stopped breathing when I was bf her. She went floppy and blue around the mouth. It lasted seconds but it scared me senseless. The hospital said it was because she had a snotty nose and cold but I am not sure. She still has little breathing fits when feeding and I am taking her to the HV tomorrow but thought I could get some advice here, is this a symptom of reflux?

What about a bean bag for your dd, it molds well to her body and my dd is the most comfortable in ours (it is very small so she doesnt get lost or hot)and her body is not scrunched up like in a car seat.

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